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El Pollo Ranchero, South Alexandria - Peruvian Roast Chicken on Richmond Highway

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I'm surprised we don't have a thread on this place. I was going to post about their nachos, but I kept remembering other things we like and figured that they deserve their own thread.

Barbara and I were there tonight for a quick dinner of shared nachos and a couple of beers. The nachos were good, a hearty pile started with a thin layer of refried beans on the bottom of the plate, chips, shredded roast chicken, ground beef, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and jalapenos. These were good, surprisingly not greasy, with crisp chips throughout.

We also go frequently for takeout chicken sandwiches. The bread is nothing special, a commercial sub roll, but the chicken inside is their roast chicken torn into large chunks. It's served with commercial french fries, but with mustard-mayo sauce and a spicy green sauce.

Barbara wrote a review for her blog a few years ago. I'm glad to say that they are consistently good and we still like eating there.

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I am going to second Su Pollo. The chicken is really quite good and the best to be found anywhere near Alexandria. Its of the more heavily seasoned variety (which I prefer). Its a good sized bird, but is still moist. Also, as the previous poster mentioned, it is cooked over charcoal and that comes through. Yucca is I want from it. Not too big (right crunch to interior ratio), freshly fried and crispy, not stringy or too dry/starchy on the inside. Sauces do the job; good standard represenation.

I'm pretty partial to El Pollo Ranchero in the 6300 block of Rte 1. It's cooked over charcoal as well. Fried yucca is also tasty there. On Mondays through Thursdays, they have happy hour specials on some of the food. Well worth a stop.

In 2009 and the first part of 2010, the library I managed was being renovated and we were temporarily located next door to El Pollo Ranchero. The smell of the charcoal and roasting chicken was enough to make you drool.....that is unless the wind was blowing the other way. Krispy Kreme was on the other side of the library and the smell of hot freshly fried donughts would waft by. I think the staff and I each gained at least 10 pounds while we were located there.

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We stopped here on Sunday just to check out our chicken options on the way to Lowes.  I kind of wanted an empanada, the yucca with the shredded pork, etc, etc, but the reason for the visit was the chicken so I knew I had to get that.  To my surprise on the Tex Mex Specials- special 1 was an empanada, fried yucca, cheese pupusa, chicken with rice and beans.  So that is what I ordered.  Now I liked this place, the service was very nice, the food was fine.  It wasn't Caribbean Grill, El Pollo Rico or Don Pollo in terms of chicken, but it was fine.  It just didn't seem special.  The beef empanada was seasoned ground beef, and again fine, but not special.  The yucca was good.  The cheese pupusa, I took notes on, mine aren't this good.  I think they use way more cheese than I do, those were very good.  All in all, it really wasn't a bad lunch at all, and we will go back.  But I still miss Caribbean Grill.  This really is a nice little place if you need a meal, it's just not a travel out of the way for kind of place.

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